There’s plenty of ways you can live “green” – from simple, easy things to more committed approaches. Here are some helpful tips for earth-friendly living.
Start with Energy Efficiency
By saving energy, you not only save money, but you help the environment.
- Switch to CFLs or LEDs lights, they use 75 percent less energy.
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR certified appliances.
- Set your water heater temperature to no higher than 120 degrees.
- Add insulation and weatherize your home. (There’s a rebate called Button-Up that your local Touchstone Energy Cooperative may offer that can help you off set these costs.)
- Wash clothes in cold water and only do full loads.
- Clean your refrigerator coils annually.
- Seal leaks in your duct system.
- Close shades and drapes at night to keep heat in during the winter, and open them during the day to catch free solar heat.
- Caulk outside your home, around all penetrations including telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water spigots, dryer vents, etc.
- As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative member, you can perform a free, online energy audit to find out more about your home’s energy use. Visit your co-op’s website for information.
Living energy smart
There are other easy steps you can take in your everyday life.
- Use the dishwasher for full loads only for the most efficient water use. If you have only a small number of dishes or pans to clean, wash them by hand.
- Turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth! Leaving it on wastes water.
- Buy organic foods to help promote sustainable agriculture in your area.
- Save paper by distributing business or other documents on a flash drive or through e-mail instead of printing hard copies.
- Install ultra-low flush model toilets to save gallons of water per flush.
- Repurpose old t-shirts and towels for cleaning instead of using paper towels.
- Plant trees and plants which are native to your area. They won’t require pesticides.
- Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins.
- Compost kitchen scraps and use them to fertilize your garden.
- Buy gifts from antique shops or thrift stores.
- Only purchase gift wrap that’s made from recycled materials.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of clean water instead of running water.
- Use rain barrels to collect rain for use in your garden or to wash vehicles.
- Don’t leave your car in idle for long amounts of time.
- Make your recycle bin the largest receptacle in your home.